Greatest Judas Priest Albums


The Top Ten

1 Painkiller

Definitely the best Priest album, and one of the best metal albums. There really isn't a single track on here that's bad, all of them are fantastic. Painkiller is the heaviest this band has ever gone.

My favorites from top to bottom are as followed:
1. Painkiller
2. One Shot At Glory
3.Between the Hammer and the Anvil
4. All Guns Blazing
5. Hell Patrol
6. Metal Meltdown
7. Night Crawler
8. Living Bad Dreams
9. A Touch Of Evil
10. Leather Rebel
11. Battle Hymn

A Masterpiece from begin to the ending (Yes inclusive Living bad dreams)

My vote doesn't need further commenting...

You cannot have anything else at N1

V 34 Comments
2 Screaming for Vengeance

Definitely one of the greatest heavy metal albums of all time!

Much better than Painkiller in my opinion. Painkiller is good but not my favorite. Screaming for Vengeance is easily my favorite. Only album that comes close for me is Defenders of the Faith.

When I first heard this album at the age of 14 I was blown away. The songs were so fast and hard. I never heard anything like up until that point. Screaming For Vengence followed by You Got Another Thing Coming really got me into metal. Although this album is ranked number 2, for me it is their best album. It set the tone for all their other albums to follow.

If you thought this was the best album, then you've got another thing coming. First there was British Steel, and then there was Painkiller. Then there was Defenders of the Faith. If you think this was the best album, then do not start screaming for vengeance.

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3 Defenders of the Faith

First Priest album I listened to was Painkiller as I was a fan of the heavier, thrashier sound of 'tallica, Megadeth and Slayer. But right after listening to this album for the first time, I was completely MINDBLOWN and I have been fully convinced that Priest is the best metal band of all time due to its variety. (I have listened to their other albums)

OK. I am a young metal fan and when I heard this album for the first time, I was amazed! So many great songs (The Sentinel, Freewheel Burning, Rock Hard Ride Free, Some Heads Are Gonna Roll, etc.) This should be #1 instead of Painkiller.

Great songs like the sentinel and freewheel burning it makes me in goose pumps all time I hear this albums songs maybe greatest album ever made

One of my top metal albums from any band! Its got everything from screaming metal to great heavy rock. Love it!

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4 Sad Wings of Destiny

This was a pivotal moment in the history of heavy metal. After the initial rush of bands that emerged in 1970 out of Great Britain, this was the next most crucial development in the genre and it was spearheaded by one band.

Judas Priest establish themselves in a unique position setting a bar impossibly high with complex songwriting, intricate musicianship and a vocalist that sounded unlike any other up until that point in time. The album opener, "Victim of Changes" would effectively set up the band's career and remains arguably the best song they ever wrote.

Without this album, the NWOBHM would not have been possible and subsequently, the thrash, speed, power and later, death metal genres. This is a monumental piece of work and the beginning of the band's golden age in the 1970s, an era that has yet to be equaled in quality.

The cornerstone record that defined and solidified the Priest sound. Dark, doom laden, downright evil riffs drive this record. Halford's tremendous vocal range rips through the speakers supported by the twin lead guitars. Taking the genre started by Black Sabbath to a faster and more metallic place, this album defined the evolution of heavy metal. The highlight, and defining song, Victim of Changes is simply one of the greatest songs on one of the greatest heavy metal albums of all time. JP's number seminal album that started it all. To quote lyrics on a much later record, this was the birth of the "Armor plated raging beast, the spawn of steel and leather, that will survive against all odds, stampeding on forever."

The best Judas Priest song for many reasons such as every single song ranging from very good to unbelievable. But the other main reason is for the simple fact that this is probably the greatest vocal performance ever achieved on an album. Rob Halford shows off his voice range through out every song. His voice is beautiful and this album is a showcase to that god like talent. - metalmaiden

The beginning of Judas Priest! I mean, Rocka Rolla was good, but not JUDAS-PRIEST-GOOD! Sad Wings of Destiny is the first album to include the Judas Priest landmark sound and Halford groundbreaking voice style that (in my opinion) set the ground and the rules for all heavy metal singers from here (1976) on!

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5 British Steel

This is the best priest album as every single song is great

This is the best in my opinion. The feel of this album is amazing. The flow is awesome. One of the best album experiences ever. All killer, no filler. I could listen to this and Defenders all day, unlike other Priest albums

Absolutely the best. Some criticize it for being weak outside of a few songs, but I find every song on here to be amazing!
Best songs: Rapid Fire, Breaking the Law, Living After Midnight, Steeler

This album, kind of like Maiden's Number of the Beast, gets called overrated just because it's their most popular. But there are too many great songs on this album to not appreciate it. There's the obvious ones like Metal Gods, Breaking the Law, and Living After Midnight, but also look out for the unappreciated gems. The Rage, for instance... I've never heard anything like it before and it's one of the most emotional vocal performances Halford ever gave, but no one ever talks about it.

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6 Stained Class

Gotta be Stained Class

This is the best overall Judas Priest Album! Not a single bad song on this. My favorites are beyond the realm of death, heroes end, and exciter

Best album by far!

I used to go with Screaming for Vengeance for my number one, but this one has taken command of my personal number one spot. I have one comment about this album. The riffs. They're awesome. - Metarock

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7 Hell Bent for Leather

1. Hell bent for Leather
2. Stained Class
3. Sad wings of Destiny
4. Defenders of the faith
5. Screaming for vengeance
6. Painkiller
7. British Steel
8. Firepower
9. Sin after sin
10. Turbo
11. Ram It down
12. Angel of Retribution
13. Redeemer of Souls
14. Rocka Rolla
15. Jugulator
16. Point of entry
17. Nostradamus
18. Demolition

I have this one, Actually it is called Killing Machine (the one I have on vinyl) and I really like this record. It got very nice songs like: Before the dawn, Running Wild, Hell Bent for Leather, Burnin' up. Good songs and very good vocals! It was my first record of Judas Priest! And it is still awesome! I can listen to it all-day. Judas Priest is still rocking of course!

Unquestionably Judas Priest's best album of the 70's. It's where they defined their general sound and atmosphere, mixing the unrelenting instrumental attack of Stained Class with the Halford-centric British Steel. All classics from beginning to end. And zero filler.

This was my first Judas Priest Album. It was so unique and powerful. The Dueling guitars changed my life. My friends thought they had 2 singers in the band. Rob is God, his vocals are impeccable!

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8 Firepower Firepower

"their best since Painkiller"
"their best since Seventh Son of a Seventh Son"
"their best since...And Justice for All"
"their best since Rust in Peace"
"their best since Meteora"
"their best since Seasons in the Abyss"
"their best since Back in Black"
"their best since Californication"

Trendy expression, isn't it? - Alkadikce

Should be top 5 or 4 incredible, they made this beauty of album in 2018, I am a long long time priest fan, it is good very good!

Stained class
Defenders of the faith
Screaming for vengeance
Sin after sin
My top 5

An new Judas Priest classic is born.

One of Priest's best albums Rising From Ruins is amazing and Traitors Gate. Then there is No Surrender which is on repeat all the time.

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9 Sin After Sin

Solid record, Simon Phillips drumming makes a huge difference. Sin After Sin and Sad Wings were amazing albums.
You'll either like the stuff before Hell Bent or after. If you like Black Sabbath, UFO, Thin Lizzy, Deep Purple, Rainbow, then you will like the earlier stuff. If you like Metallica, Ratt, and Motley Crue you will like the later.

The guitar tones and playing on this is album is fantastic. I think Halfords voice is great on this also. Great songs also.

Sin and Wings are FAR SUPERIOR to ANYTHING else they released in studio.

Diamonds and rust is perfection

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10 Redeemer of Souls

The only reason this is far down is because it just came out. This album deserves to be in the top ten for sure.

Should be 2nd only to painkiller. this album has some great heavy tracks such as "halls of valhalla", "battle cry", "march of the damned", and "redeemer of souls". actually all of the tracks are awesome, but these are the best. "beginning of the end" is a really epic song too, it just fits perfectly in this album.

Hell and back is awesome too. At least you recognize how amazing this album is. - Sabbath

This album establishes Halford as the true metal god. The best work of his illustrious career. Simply aeesome. Imagine if you wil three 60 something metal stars and a fairly new drummer and a brand new guitarist getting together and making there greatest work ever. Got it in your mibd yet? Good listen to this album and you'll hear it. Unbelievable!

This album is very underrated. - Sabbath

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The Contenders

11 Unleashed In the East

The greatest heavy metal album of the 70s

I had this album back in the day and loved listening it. It's worth listening to now just for "The Green Manalishi" alone. Wish I had seen them live when they young. I recently bought this album used as my first copy got lost over the years. Still sounds great. One of the best "live" metal recordings out there.

Exciting from first to last second. All songs great. I love it!

Unquestionably one the greatest live collections by any band ever. Every song a classic, why this is at 12 is a joke. Although very good most high ratings on this poll are for 80's JP when their best work was clearly in the 70's

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12 Live in London
13 '98 Live Meltdown
14 Ram It Down

Has always been badly underrated because it's sandwiched between the most hated (Turbo) and most loved (Painkiller) albums of Priest's discography.

Drum machine? No problem. Most energetic album along with Painkiller. True heavy metal sound and expression.

Come on, if you can get past the drum machine, you get a great album.

Should be Above Turbo - christangrant

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15 Nostradamus

HOW IS NOSTRADAMUS 13TH?! God, listen to the songs and then vote please. The songs are consistently good in this album, unlike stained glass, or hell bent for leather which have only a few great songs. British Steel is THE most overrated album. Breaking the law isn't great and nor as living after midnight. In Nostradamus, the eponymous song, prophesy, exiled, alone, visions, conquest... The list is endless.
Also vote for Angel Of Retribution - a heavy metal masterpiece. The eponymous song, judas rising, revolution. They characterize not Judas Priest but the heavy metal genre which this band is a pioneer of.

Only a few great songs in Hell Bent for Leather and Stained Class, and as an alternative you prefer Nostradamus? What the hell is wrong with you? You must be getting the albums mixed up, because if there's anything that can describe Nostradamus it's that there are a few good songs. There's so much filler it isn't even funny and it's so hard to listen to the whole thing in one go. Of course there are some good songs on it, but for every solid track there's at least 2 pointless ones. - dubsinthetubs

This album is so underrated it's ridiculous. This album tells a very vivid story about the prophet Nostradamus and does a great job doing it. This album was an emotional roller coaster, making me feel empowered at some songs and making me cry at others. People dismiss this album as bad because it is not all heavy like painkiller, but when you sit down and listen to it in its entirety, it is truly a masterpiece. It is not my absolute favorite, but it is way to low on this list, so I voted for it anyway.

The whole way through, a great album. The concept really adds a mesmerizing element to it, and the songs are undeniably awesome. The only reason that it's underappreciated is because people don't TRY to listen to the newer stuff from decades-old metal bands. Same case with Iron Maiden, Overkill (who used to cover Priest), Motorhead and Testament (who have played alongside Priest).

Actually my favorite is Sad Wings of Destiny (an absolute heavy metal classic). But Nostradamus is my second favorite and I couldn't stand to see it at #15 so I voted for this. Already at Prophecy this is an epic record. All the songs have great lyrics and great melodies.


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16 Killing Machine

Killing machine and hell bent for leather are the same albums duh! - Sabbath

It would have been in the top five if the votes were not split

Uh... It's already on the list.

This must be in the top 5

17 Turbo

I love this album so much! Every song is a banger! 80s vibes...

Great glam metal from the Priest. Showing how dynamic this band can be. As with Painkiller four years later.

Are you nuts? This is on the list instead of British Steel?

One of the few that likes this a lot. Hey it's was the 80's

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18 Angel of Retribution

This album blew me away! Amazing work.

The best of their recent albums in my opinion, it has great tracks like Judas Rising, Revolution and Angel. It also marked the return of Rob Halford who left the band shortly after Painkiller. It should be in the top ten of this list for sure.

Wow currently #14 on list, I guess a lot of people don't know this one because it's newer. Give it a few listens you'll be glad you did. - metalhank

I just love this album, so many good songs

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19 Jugulator

I prefer Tim Owens over Rob Halford. - Roach

A very underrated album, often given a poor rating because it's the first album missing Rob Halford and the style of the bands music was much heavier due in part to the long gap between this album and Painkiller. Tim Ripper Owens features on this album and delivers strong vocals, he's since gone on to front great band's such as Iced Earth, Beyond Fear and Dio Disciples. Songs like Burn in Hell, Blood Stained and the title track all being great examples.

Several aspects make the sound of this album - thrash, groove, speed, death, traditional, etc.. Judas Priest blends it perfectly and creates their heaviest album, a metal monster they unleashed on the world when it was thought heavy metal was a dying genre. Well, albums like this proved the world wrong.

Deserves far more attention. Demolition too, they're both great albums. Neither is the best, but just because they don't have Halford them it doesn't mean it's bad. - DesL42

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20 Rocka Rolla

Their most underrated album. Listen to Rocka Rolla, Never Satisfied, Run Of The Mill, and One For The Road.

No love for Rocka Rolla? Classic 70s Priest with more interesting and creative songs than in the 80s (not saying those were bad)

21 Priest...Live!
22 Demolition

I can't help thinking that Rob Halford and Layne Stayley are singing duets on this album. - Alkadikce

This album has some killer tracks, but I'm not sure if they beat killer tracks from other albums; irregardless, this is probably Judas Priest's most solid album, only rivaled by Sad Wings of Destiny and Stained Class (to which Demolition beats both courtesy of production). Owens is great, the guitars sound excellent, and the drums are varied and support the music well.

The album was great, the reason it is not on top of the list it's because Ripper is the singer not Holford.

23 Live Insurrection

Live insurrection is a great album with 28 song of awsomeness some songs are not Judas Priest and some are Judas Priest other then that this album Halford blew the roof off the stage

24 Point of Entry

I know I'm in the minority on this one but really why so low? I know it's not as heavy or prolific as some of their other albums but I think it deserves to be higher than this. Maybe the awful cover artwork put people off from listening to it? Not my favourite Priest album but not
their worst either,( Turbo I'm looking you).

Some people think Stained Class is Priest's most underrated album, however I think Point of Entry earns that merit. Sure, some of the songs don't have that Priest feel to them but nonetheless they are still good. Songs like Turning Circles, Solar Angels, Troubleshooter, and On The Run are very underrated gems. 8/10

Album should be much higher up in the ranking. Good songs but could've been mixed a little better in my opinion. Solar Angels! picked up where Screaming left off...

15th, come on! Great songs: Heading Out To The highway, Hot rocking' and the rest are all very listenable. Deserves to be in top ten for sure - metalhank

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List Stats

3,000 votes
24 listings
9 years, 269 days old

Top Remixes (56)

1. British Steel
2. Screaming for Vengeance
3. Defenders of the Faith
1. Defenders of the Faith
2. Painkiller
3. Sad Wings of Destiny
1. Stained Class
2. Sin After Sin
3. Jugulator

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"Painkiller" Album Review

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